October 2010

On Lit Theory: Reading Hurts (Part One)

In every school of criticism, there are acknowledgments of the multi-dimensional nature of interpretation. Even with this admission, many schools of thought choose to deny or disregard important aspects of interpretation. In the case of Reader-Response criticism the average reader is dismissed as sub-par. But at the same time, this type of criticism includes gender as a vital aspect of critiquing a work.

#fridayreads: Show Your Reader Pride!

Not long ago, author and book reviewer Bethanne Patrick (a.k.a. The Book Maven) started a little trend on Twitter.  She dubbed it "Friday Reads," and gave it the #fridayreads hash tag. 

The idea is simple: tell the world what you're reading.  If you want to add a little bit about how you're liking it, that's great, but it's not necessary.

Response so far has been pretty good, but it can definitely get better!  Last Friday hit a new record, with over 2,000 retweets with the #fridayreads hashtag. 

Each person who uses that hashtag gets entered into a drawing, for the opportunity to win some fabulous book prizes from The Book Maven.  (Review copies, usually, but publishing companies have started contacting her to offer prizes from their own stacks as well.)

Bedbugs In Books

Bedbugs are the gross-out du jour.  And unfortunately, it's all true.  By the sounds of it, New York City is creeping gradually closer to 100% infestation rates.  And guess what?  They're on the move.  I found a website with a handy map tool to show you where bedbugs have been reported in your area.

Is that an itch?  Hm?  Maybe feel a little something crawling on your calf?  Or is it just me?   It's probably just me.

At first, the word from the front was obvious: don't take anything from the curb.  Then the line moved to encompass thrift stores.  Is the clothing safe?  Has it been heated to the requisite 135 degrees to kill bedbugs?  Probably not.  Better avoid it. 

F.T. Marinetti: Finds Love, Gets Soft

It’s really a bother to go ahead and read most texts which were penned specifically to relate a theoretical concept of art making. Usually, those essays amount to nothing more than grand platitudes about stasis and a need for innovation. Futurism isn’t really too much different, especially during its earliest moments prior to the Great War.

What makes the movement and its texts more engaging than those connected to better known 20th century styles is that F.T. Marinetti, who wrote a huge portion of what comprises Futurist literature, was a novelist and poet.

Lois Tyson's Critical Theory Today: An Overview of Theory Obfuscated by the Personal

Understanding the intent of a piece of work – visual art, literature,

film or whatever – doesn’t require a huge amount of thought. Guessing and providing at least a modicum of proof suffices. However, for the last few millennia, people have been attempting to constitute specific strategies by which to understand art. It’s referred to as critical theory and there’re more modes of thought associated with it than world religions. I don’t even think that’s hyperbole.